Tennessee Titans at New England Patriots (-13.5): Game Picks

Jan 12, 2018

The Titans will need to figure out how to stop Rob Gronkowski if they want to stand a chance

This matchup between the reigning Super Bowl champs and arguably the weakest team left in the playoffs wraps up Saturday night (8:15 PM ET) in what Vegas expects to be a one-sided affair. The Patriots will look to make it seven wins in a row when facing the Titans and their gaudy 41.5 ppg across their last four meetings only further proves that Brady and Co. can put up points at will. The question here isn’t so much whether the Patriots will win, although anything is possible, but can they can cover the largest spread these playoffs have seen thus far (13.5 points).

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The Titans overcame an 18 point deficit on the road at Arrowhead Stadium and that in itself is no small feat. While the team isn’t exactly among the league leaders in any one specific category, they’ve got a decent run game, their quarterback can make things happen with his feet, and their first round draft pick is starting to show his worth. The Patriots aren’t clicking on all cylinders either as their defense has struggled for most of the season. Their recent signing of a fresh James Harrison could certainly have an impact and a healthy Rob Gronkowski is undoubtedly an issue that the Titans are going to have to deal with. The experts have made their picks against the spread. See who they’re taking and why.

More Game Picks:
Falcons at Eagles (+3) | Jaguars at Steelers (-7) | Saints at Vikings (-4.5)

Tennessee Titans (+13.5)

New England Patriots (-13.5)

40%

of Experts

60%

of Experts

“I think New England wins this game, but 13.5 is a tough spread to pick. Titans have proven to be tougher than we all thought so I think they can keep it a two-touchdown game.”
Joe Bond (Fantasy Six Pack)
“The Titans defense has played better over the last two weeks. If Derrick Henry receives a full workload once again, that should help their offense. Not to mention, in the Patriots’ losses they struggled against rushing quarterbacks. The Titans don’t win but don’t lose by two touchdowns, either.”
Frank Stampfl (RotoExperts)
“The game will be much more close than many believe. Derrick Henry was the key for the Titans in the Wild Card round and they will try to manage the clock and keep Brady off the field. The Patriots are a more talented team, with a huge coaching advantage and Tom Brady on their side. They will win, but it’s going to be close.”
Mauricio Gutierrez (Estadio Fantasy)
“I don’t foresee the need for New England to run up the score against an underwhelming Titans team. Add in fear of a backdoor cover, and I’m taking the points.”
Greg Smith (TwoQBs)
“Last week I was on the Titans plus the 8.5 points ripe with the knowledge that Tennessee enters the postseason as the ‘only’ team with a negative overall point differential. Heading into Foxboro is a completely different animal this time of year as we all know with Brady & company the past 17 seasons. All this talk now emerges about a potential divorce that will break up the Pats & their dynasty hold. Normally, when the Pats hear controversy they take the “Us versus the World” mantra and bury their opponents. Something tells me 2018 could be different as New England comes in rested but still not fully healthy with Hogan & Burkhead both still limited this week. I think the Murray injury actually helps the Titans as a hungry Derrick Henry showed last week. I still think the Pats find a way to advance as they always do but I will gobble up the points and hope the public pushes this number to a full +14.”
Staff Rankings (ScoutFantasy)
“No team has been better against the spread this year than the Pats at 11-5, and since their Week 7 game against the Falcons (of course!) the Pats are 9-1 ATS, but 13.5 points is a lot to lay in the playoffs, and the Titans with their slow pace of play could decrease the number of opportunities the Pats have to score.”
Matthew Freedman (FantasyLabs)
“Last week, I said that Vegas appeared to be begging us to take the Saints with their line against the Panthers, but I took New Orleans, anyway. Fool me once, right? This line is clearly meant to entice bettors who think the uninspiring Titans can’t possibly stay within two touchdowns of the mighty Patriots in New England. Well, I think they can!”
Des Bieler (The Washington Post)
“Titans will try to keep this very close as well. The spread is just too big to go for the over.”
Chris Heil (Fantasy Sports Rants)
“Just like the rest of the football world, I believe the Pats will dominate this game. But betting on any team to win by 2 TDs in the post-season is not a good idea.”
Matt Schauf (Draft Sharks)

“Titans are loaded with talent, will shut down the run and can score on the Pats’ #29 ranked defense. What this comes down to, however, is Brady playing injured:

Blake Bortles this season: 1.31 TD/gm, 0.81 INT/gm, 60.2% comp, 230.4 yd/gm, 1.50 sck/gm
Brady after Achilles injury: 1.20 TD/gm, 1.00 INT/gm, 61.3% comp, 240.6 yd/gm, 2.20 sck/gm”
Bobby Sylvester (FantasyPros)

“I fully expect the Patriots to win, but Derrick Henry versus their mediocre run defense will be the Titans key towards covering a 13.5-point spread.”
Robert Waziak (Pyromaniac)
“Marcus Mariota won’t throw another pass to himself.”
Jamey Eisenberg (CBS Sports)
“The Titans were dead in the water before the Chiefs went all Chiefs on us. I didn’t see that coming and if Tennessee shocks with a win or by beating the spread, I’ll tip my cap and move along. The Pats are understandably massive favorites at home and you have to think the Big 3 in New England would love to score a huge win to end all of this “rift” chatter. I see the Pats flat out rolling here.”
Kevin Roberts (Breaking Football)
“The Titans pulled off a stunning win on the road against the Chiefs, but they will see their playoff run end in Foxborough this week. Not only do I think the Patriots will win, but they will do so in rather dominant fashion. Marcus Mariota won’t have nearly as much room for error in this one and Derrick Henry won’t be able to keep this game close all by himself.”
Adam Sutton (DraftStars)
“The two games when the Titans got walloped this season were both on the road (@HOU, @PIT). While those are the only two losses of their seven that would top this spread, it’s a sign that when things go wrong, they can go really wrong for the Titans. The Patriots know how to dismantle offenses and will likely aim to stop Derrick Henry and force Marcus Mariota to beat them… that’s bad news for the Titans given Mariota’s play this year.”
Jake Ciely (RotoExperts)
“Props to the Titans for advancing. Now comes the cold reality in the form of an angry Tom Brady and Bill Belichick. No need to overthink things. Give the points.”
Ben Standig (CSN Mid-Atlantic)
“The Titans lucked into a victory last week but won’t be able to slip past the juggernaut that is the Patriots. Whether or not stories of turmoil within the organization are true, this should play out as no more than a warm-up match for a New England team with vastly more postseason experience.”
David Biggs (Drink Five)
“Don’t care if the spread is two touchdowns or four. Belichick and Brady have enough bulletin board material to last a lifetime, Titans can thank ESPN for that.”
Bill Enright (FFChamps)
“Patriots channel the bad press to a big win.”
Andy Holloway (The Fantasy Footballers)
“The Patriots seem to thrive when there is a bit of controversy swirling around and recent reports of a rift fits the bill. Tennessee was struggling to deal with tight end Travis Kelce last week before he went out with a concussion. They will have no answer for Rob Gronkowski this week.”
Walton Spurlin (Pro Football Focus)
“Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski and Brandin Cooks should have a field day against a Titans team that barely squeaked by the Chiefs in the Wild Card round.”
KJ (Fantasy Team Advice)
“Few paths to a conference final game have been easier. The Patriots can name their margin of victory here.”
Dalton Del Don (Yahoo! Sports)
“It pains me to pick a team that is giving 13.5 points in the playoffs, but we are talking about the Patriots at home against the Titans. Despite beating KC last week, Tennessee doesn’t seem like a playoff team, and the Patriots have been under controversy this week. That’s usually not a good thing for their opponents.”
Rich Piazza (Fantasy Shed)
“This is the 21st playoff home game for the Patriots in the Brady era, the 36th post-season game (including Super Bowls) overall, and the 30th time they are favorites to win. The Ravens are the only team to beat the spread against the Patriots at Gillette since 2011; accounting for all three of the spread losses with a 7-3 ATS record favoring the Pats since then. So if the Titans somehow pull this off, they might have to buy Cinderella Castle at Disneyworld as a permanent homage. The Titans have a good defense, but as is usual with the patient Patriots, they’ll wait until they are worn down. Mariota played well against the Chiefs, but I’m not so sure the quick or no-huddle strategy can have the same positive effect against the Patriots. They would need Derrick Henry to have a big game. For Brady and company, it’s simply wait for the opportunity and keep on Gronkin’. Gronkowski is the key. We saw the Chiefs lose control of the game almost at the moment Travis Kelce left the field.”
Richard Savill (Fantasy Six Pack)
“My favorite highlight of the week was Belichick talking up the Titans on Wednesday, as if they were the 1979 Steelers. The Dick LeBeau defense will be an easy solve for New England.”
Scott Pianowski (Yahoo! Sports)
“Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski have historically destroyed Dick LeBeau’s defenses. Despite Brady’s recent flirtations with averageness, this should be a stroll through the park for the Patriots’ offense. It’s been a nice two-week run for the Titans, but I’ll be surprised if they keep this one close.”
Pat Fitzmaurice (The Football Girl)
“I hate giving two TDs in a playoff game as much as the next guy, but last week’s surprising win by the Titans didn’t really change my mind about them. They’re an average team with shaky coaching, and I’m not betting on them against a good opponent, even with this spread.”
John Halpin (RotoWire.com)
“The Titans caught a few breaks in the Kansas City game, but don’t forget the team that they were in the first half of that game, because that’s the team we saw for most of the season. You don’t want to play against Brady at home in the playoffs.”
Mike Tagliere (FantasyPros)
“Well, it’s the Patriots and playoffs, peas, and carrots.”
James Hatfield (Hatty Waiver Wire Guru)

“Love to see Henry get his run & become the focal point of the offense. He and Mariota will need to pile up touches and keep Brady & Gronk caged on the sideline. However, this isn’t the September NE defense, and Patricia will contain Mariota’s scrambling. The numbers all say that Tennessee should have been sitting at home for a couple weeks. Andy Reid’s not on the sideline.”
Mike Harmon (Swollen Dome)

“I don’t generally like betting on huge home favorites in the playoffs, but I don’t see the limited Titans offense hanging with New England, who is sure to tear apart Tennessee’s leaky secondary.”
Jody Smith (Gridiron Experts)
“Tennessee has trouble against the pass, they allowed 239 yards passing per game and 27 touchdowns on the year. Tom Brady just picks apart Dick LeBeau’s zone blitz schemes, and the Titans just do not have an answer for Gronkowski.”
Dan Yanotchko (EDSFootball)
“I can’t go against a Patriots team that has just been put on blast regarding internal struggles, at home, with their RB stable likely fully stocked, against a Titans team that I consider pretty fraudulent.”
Nick Mariano (RotoBaller)
“The Titans were getting crushed by the Chiefs before the clock struck midnight (or the end of the first half) and all of the sudden every bounce went their way. They won’t be as lucky this weekend in New England against an improved defense and Tom Brady with a healthy set of receivers against a week Titans’ secondary.”
Brad Richter (Going For 2)

* Lock symbols represent the expert’s most confident game pick.

Thank you to the experts for giving their against the spread picks. Enjoy the playoffs!


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